Sunday, February 06, 2011

Scottsdale, Arizona - The Desert Adventure - The Grand Canyon

Yesterday was a trip to the Grand Canyon, although very excited about seeing it (I think I've only seen it from the air before) the four hour, one-way drive did not excite me. But we loaded up and headed that direction early in the morning. My first picture was sunrise from the vehicle going down the highway and then once we got to the Kaibib National Forest I saw Smokey the Bear.

Then it was on up to the canyon, what is normally a $25.00 entry fee, was knocked down to a mere $8.00 because my mother (whispers.....a senior citizen) was in the vehicle.

Seems like a steep price to pay but when driving through and seeing all the improvements and nice amenities around it was understandable. As you might guess, the pictures don't begin to do it justice. It should be on everyone's bucket list.

 How the Canyon Came to be the Grand Canyon
The Grand Canyon is probably the world’s most spectacular example of the power of erosion. Scientists estimate the Grand Canyon began forming 6 million years ago with the downward cutting (erosion) of the Colorado River, which flows through the Canyon. The work is by no means finished. The powerful forces of the river, rain, snow, heat, frost and wind are still sculpting the fantastic shapes of precipitous bluffs and towering buttes.

The Numbers
Grand Canyon
  • Length: 277 river miles
  • Average width: 10 mi. (max. 15 mi.)
  • Average depth: 4000 ft. (max. one mi.)
  • Acres: 1,218,375
  • South Rim elevation: 7,000 ft.
  • North Rim elevation: 8,100 ft.
  • Phantom Ranch elevation: 2400 ft.
  • Average high temperatures:
    Jan. - 41o F (rim), 56o F (gorge)
    July - 85o F (rim), 107o F (gorge)
  • Average rainfall: 16” (rim), 8.44” (gorge)
  • Average snowfall: 62” (rim), 2” (gorge)
Colorado River (within the park)
  • Length: 277 mi
  • Average width: 300 ft.
  • Average depth: 40 ft.
  • Average speed: 4 miles per hour

 The definite changes from the different levels and types of rock were clearly visible. There are 3 groups of types of rock, 18 different kinds.

As many of you know, I am a total wildlife freak and was excited about the possibilities, but......aside from Smokey the Bear......this was the only wildlife I saw, a Raven. And yes, he was taunting me.

Home to 88 species of mammals, 56 species of reptiles and amphibians, and 17 species of fish (the Humpback Chub and the Razorback Sucker are on the US endangered species list). There are more than 300 species of birds within the Park including the Bald Eagle, Peregrine Falcon, the California Condor (10 ft. wingspan) and the raven (largest of crows). Boasts approximately 2,000 species of plants, mosses and other vegetation.

Then the last thing that was a photo op......another picture from the vehicle......the Arizona sunset, and I can only describe the beautiful colors - bright oranges, deep turquoise, subtle yellows........gorgeous over the gigantic red rocks.

1 comment:

Renee' said...

I kind of expected a picture of you hanging over the edge like Michelle Reavis!!! Nice pictures!